SPEEDWAY, Ind. — Will Power led more laps than he’s led all season this year to win the Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
The win is Power’s 40th career win in the NTT IndyCar Series and his first win this season.
“We needed “this win” as a group,” “I can’t tell you how good these guys have been this year. They’ve worked so hard. What a relief. When that yellow came, and we had a really good car. It was solid out front.”
Romain Grosjean came home second behind Power. Colton Herta, Alexander Rossi, and Pato O’Ward rounded out the top five.
“It’s been a cool weekend,” said Grosjean, who was out of push-to-pass for the last 15 laps and managed to hold onto the second position.
“I had to use quite a bit (of push-to-pass) early in the race to ensure we got through lapped cars. We just went flat out. We’ve been competitive the last few races. We had a good car all day long. Certainly would like to be first.”
Grosjean finished second back in May on this same road course in the GMR Grand Prix.
Tire strategy seemed to be the difference in the race as Pato O’Ward started on the pole, but opted to start the race on the faster alternate red wall tires. Power, starting in second on the outside of O’Ward, started on the black tires to fulfill his obligation to run the black tires early.
On the first round of pitstops, O’Ward switched to the black tires to fulfill his requirement, but Power then switch to the faster red tires and ran away with the lead.
Power would lead 56 of the race’s 85 laps.
At around lap 60, huge championship implications befell Alex Palou, who had been running in the top ten all day, despite having reported engine issues early on.
“We started having some issues. We weren’t sure what was going on,” Palou said ‘We did 60 laps and it was fine.”
but, Palou’s engine would give out and he rolled to a stop bring his day to an end and cutting his 50-point championship lead by more than half as he finished 27th.
“It’s a shame cause we were running so good,” Palou added. “Certainly need to get those points back. I think we’re in a good spot. We just need to keep fighting for races.”
For Will Power, along with it being his 40th IndyCar win, it is his 28th win on a road/street course tying him for most all-time in that regard with Scott Dixon.
The win is Power’s sixth overall win at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, tying him for most all-time in the modern era with Kyle Busch (four Indiana 250 wins and two Brickyard 400 wins).
As for the championship conversation. Palou will take a 21-point lead into the next race at the World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway outside St. Louis next week. Pato O’Ward moves into second in the standings, and Scott Dixon drops to third after having a tough day finishing 17th.
It just feels so great to finally be back in Victory Lane! Really happy for my @Team_Penske 12 team … they were flawless today. So pumped to get the win 👍🏁
— Will Power (@12WillPower) August 14, 2021